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A story of two sisters, comrades in struggle

Behdinan. Şîmal Amara and Dorşîn Şîmal: one joined the fight for freedom in Amed in 2006, the other five years later in 2011.

Behdinan. Şîmal Amara and Dorşîn Şîmal: one joined the fight for freedom in Amed in 2006, the other five years later in 2011.

They spent years in different regions and never came across each other. Finally these two freedom fighters met in the Medya Defence Zones.

Şîmal Amara and Dorşîn Şîmal spoke to the ANF on their participation in the struggle and their reunion after all these years.

Şîmal Amara, the elder sister, is the first to speak: “In 2006 I decided to join the Kurdish struggle to protest against the isolation imposed on our leader Apo [Abdullah Ocalan]. Another decisive factor that made me go was the martyrdom of comrade Serhildan in 2004. When I was a sheepherder on the mountains, I used to see him regularly. His death had a deep impact on me. I wanted badly to join the fighters, but the comrades held me back, as I was too small and they won’t take me with them. It was finally in 2006 when I became a guerrilla”.

Dorşîn said, that after Şîmal joined the guerrillas, the Turkish state put the family under heavy pressure. “I myself had been thinking to join the guerrillas. But my decision came about abruptly. I joined in 2011, both because comrade Şîmal had joined and because of the worsening of the political situation”.

Different places, same feelings

Şîmal Amara soon received the news that her little sister, influenced by her own participation, had joined the guerrillas. She recalls the time she learned about her sister’s decision: “From 2010 I am active in the Çarçella area. When I got wounded in 2012 I was taken to hospital. Here I received a note with a photo attached to it. As I looked at the photograph I did not recognize her at first. I was thinking about who that comrade might be and where I might have seen her. But after reading the note, I realized that it was my sister. Still – she says – I hadn’t figured out which one of my sisters! I looked at the photo closely and all of a sudden I recognized her face. I was gripped with excitement and tears rolled down my eyes. Meanwhile the doctors came to me and prepared the serum. She had joined in 2011, but I only learned about it in 2012”.

Dorşîn noted that after she became a guerrilla she was eager to see her sister Şîmal. “After I joined the guerrillas I did not know where comrade Şîmal actually was. – she said – But I was constantly keeping my ears alert. After I joined in Amed, I went to Dersim. There I asked everyone whether they know comrade Şîmal, but no one seemed to know her. I remember that even when I spoke with our comrades over the mobile radio I kept asking myself: “Could this be Şîmal”. I sent a note, but it went unanswered. I did not know whether my notes had actually reached her”.

As to her sister’s decision to join the guerrillas, Şîmal said: “What filled my heart with excitement and joy was the fact that my sister has become a fellow traveller on the path of truth and my comrade. More importantly, she had made this decision as a woman. And this provoked deep feelings in me. It was a big source of morale for me. If was time after when we finally spoke to each other on the mobile radio. We communicate a few times via radio, but still we had had no chance to meet”.

Dorşîn pointed out that her sister, and now her comrade, Şîmal provided her always with strength in the most difficult times: “The thought to side with her in the same struggle gave me enormous strength. – she said – I did not even know where she was, but that did not reduce the energy I got from her. What brought me here, I guess,  might have been that very same energy. She explained to me that this condition requires a special understanding. That is true. In the most difficult times of all, as soon as my thoughts went to her I was filled with new energy.”

“I was curious to see her wearing a guerrilla uniform”

Şîmal said that she has always been hugely curious to see her sister wearing a guerrilla uniform: “When I first arrived here, she was visiting my dreams very often. I felt that she was near me. I had no idea at all, but then the comrades told me that she had come here too for training. In order to see her, we marched in the middle of the night. I had seen her in some old photos, but I was so thrilled and curious to actually see her wearing guerrilla clothes, arm on the shoulder. I can’t actually put my emotions into words.”

Dorşîn always hoped to see Şîmal, even just to be able to exchange a few words only. She went on: “After spending five years in Dersim, the comrades sent me to Southern Kurdistan for training. Before I left, I got the opportunity to speak with my sister. She had been thinking for some time that I had already fallen martyr. She had actually received some information indicating this. But here we are: after a long time we finally met again. We had desired this so much in our hearts. I was constantly searching for ways and means to speak and see her”.

“We need a third definition”

Şîmal called the reunion with her sister and comrade Dorşîn a “third definition” and recalled those moments saying: “The comrades were fooling about it. They would go to her and say that Şîmal was ill and wanted to see her. I told them to stop, but they locked me in a car. After that I finally saw comrade Dorşîn coming towards the car. She opened the door and we fell into each other’s arms. I cannot describe those moments. The emotions were overwhelming. Struggling for the same cause and being comrades in arms, implies a very special feeling. It is more than simple sisterhood. It even differs from regular comradeship. In fact, a third definition is necessary to describe this situation… I tried to figure it out, to define this with a word, but I could not find an adequate description.”

Dorşîn on her part described the moment “two sisters and comrades” met with these words: “After finally reaching these zones despite all difficulties, the comrades told me that Şîmal was very ill and that they would transfer her to another place. I was thinking: ‘Why all this, I had not even the chance to see her, and now she’ll leave for another place?’ But when we eventually met, we spent three days together. This special and unique feeling never left me: I was wondering whether this was actually a dream”.

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